The Feast of St. Francis Celebrations

A contemplative statue of St. Francis of Assisi greets visitors as they enter the Ellicott City, MD complex, which is home to ten of our province ministries, including the Provincial House and The Shrine of St. Anthony.

Our friars of St. Bonaventure Friary, in Toronto, ON: (left -right) Fr. Mark Steed, OFM Conv., Br. Manny Wenke, OFM Conv., Br. Tom Purcell, OFM Conv., Fr. Dennis Mason, OFM Conv., friar Fabian Adderley, OFM Conv., Fr. Peter Knaapen, OFM Conv. and Fr. Joseph Connick, OFM Conv. [To virtually join them for Mass each day on the YouTube channel of The Franciscan Church at St. Bonaventure, click on this photo.]

TRANSITUS: Each October 3rd, friars from all over the world gather to celebrate the Transitus of St. Francis of Assisi. Transitus is Latin for crossing or passage. It is commemorated on the Vigil of the Feast of St. Francis with prayer, scripture readings, joyful songs of praise and thanksgiving. The often candle lit night service commemorates the 1226 death of our beloved Seraphic Father, as he crossed over from life on earth to eternal life with the Lord. Traditionally the celebrations of these Feast Days are chosen to mark the date of a saint’s death and are remembered by the faithful with special mention, prayers, and scripture readings.  For Franciscans, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4th) is much more. It is a day filled with celebration and joy, including the traditional Blessing of the Animals and gatherings of fellowship with our brothers and sisters, in Christ.
Archbishop Curley’s Transitus Service 2021

The Transitus was celebrated jointly by the friars of our St. Francis of Assisi Friary and our Fr. Justin Senior Residence (Hamburg, NY), in the St. Francis High School Chapel, along with a couple students from the high school. Br. Michael Duffy, OFM Conv. – principal – provided the reflection for the evening.


FEAST DAY FRATERNAL FELLOWSHIP: Throughout Our Lady of the Angels Province, our friars share this joyful day with the people we serve. We also take the opportunity to celebrate our Franciscan Brotherhood with Mass, prayer, meals and laughter together in our friaries and in our ministries.
A tri-lingual Mass at our Brooklyn, NY pastoral ministry of Most Holy Trinity – St. Mary was celebrated by all three friars serving there: Fr. Raphael Zwolenkiewicz, OFM Conv. (pastor), Fr. Tomasz Ryba, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar) and Fr. Nader Ata, OFM Conv. (parochial vicar).

Frei Michel da Cruz Alves dos Santos, OFM Conv. (pastor) Blessing of the Animals at the Paróquia São Pedro e São Paulo, in Paraíba do Sul, Brazil. Learn more about our Province Custody in Brazil: Custódia Provincial Imaculada Conceição do Brasil « Ordem dos Frades Menores Conventuais (

BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS: On the days surrounding the October 4th Feast Day, friars from throughout our province ministries enjoy the traditional Blessing of Animals; a simple act that helps us share the charism of St. Francis by blessing these special “companions” of those we serve. It is always a source of great joy for our friars and it was wonderful to have others who serve through several of our special ministries there to join in the fun.


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